Many have been puzzled by Rick Perry’s recent tax policy speech in New Hampshire that went viral because of the rather bizarre behavior he exhibited during its delivery [see the complete speech in the video below this post]. I on the other hand am not. On a recent episode of the Fox News program “The Five” host Greg Guttfeld claimed Perry was acting the way he does after taking Ambien with a shot. To that, co-host Bob Beckel said Perry’s conduct seemed to be more like a reaction to being on shrooms. But having had my share of experience with failed and trailing campaigns, my gut instinct tells me that the flamboyant conduct Perry displayed during his speech is probably directly related to a moment in time that we will eventually find out revealed some very good news to Perry and his presidential campaign.
While I must admit that this is all speculation on my part, I have to also let you know that I have been there. I was not in that same spot in New Hampshire that Perry stood, but I have been there when my candidate, a tired and stressed man, struggling with a campaign that is down in the polls, receives some good news. The type of news that gives them hope or even reveals the type of information that could be what proves to be a positive turning point for the candidate’s campaign. The type of good news which provides the candidate with uncontained joy.
Now I don’t have the foggiest idea what kind of good news the Perry campaign could have received right before he gave his tax policy speech. And I have no idea about what event would provide a campaign that finds itself in the single digits to suddenly make its candidate as ecstatic as Perry seemed to be, but I do firmly believe whatever it was, it accounted for Perry’s conduct. Or do I?
Not long after I arrived at that conclusion, ABC News posted a story entitled “Rick Perry on Viral Video: ‘I felt good, felt great’.
In it, Perry explains his behavior during the speech by telling reporters;
“It was a great crowd. Good response, and I guess you can do anything you want with a video and make it look any way you want, but I felt good, felt great. I think the message got across very well, so it was a good speech”.
In all honesty, I have to question the truthfulness of that statement.
I saw the speech and if Perry’s explanation was true, his lively and unusually animated gestures, and fluctuating vocal tones would have been a reaction to the “good crowd” and “good responses” he received from the audience. But the way I see it, Perry’s colorful conduct existed before he had the chance to react to the type of reception he was receiving from the audience he was addressing. However, as this case with all things political, Governor Perry’s explanation was more than likely a half truth. Perry, did “feel good” and “great”, but mark my words, it was due to something that we will probably find about in the distant future. It is probably something that will eventually be traced back to that very moment before he addressed the New Hampshire audience. The way I see it, I believe that it will directly traceable to the Perry campaign’s learning that Politico was about to break the story on Herman Cain and accusations of alleged sexual harassment.
That would be a more rational explanation for Perry’s feeling so good when he delivered the speech. If one were to understand that Perry is among one of the evangelical conservatives who would benefit most from anything that derailed the Cain train, it is would be easy for them to understand why Perry was feeling great at the time.
But Perry’s behavior was so bizarrely over animated that I am beginning to wonder if he was too excited. Which leads me to suspect that maybe the overreaction was due to two things……, a combination of happiness and relief. Happiness that Cain was about to enter rough seas, and relief that the story they leaked to help steer Cain in to those rough seas, was about to pour out over the weekend.
Like I said, this is all speculation on my part. I will probably never be able to prove it, but a hunch arrived at through the development of political instincts, and the experience from having been there and done that, tells me that in a few years from now, some Perry aid will be writing their memoirs and in them will be a story about that moment in New Hampshire when they found out that Politico’s harassment hit piece on Herman Cain was going to break, and about how Governor Rick Perry reacted to the news moment s before he delivered his tax policy speech.
Either that or Perry had a drink or two too many to loosen up before he gave the speech.
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